We're raising £22,000 to fund a second incubator at Royal Brompton Hospital so that our doctors can care for more premature babies

Currently, Royal Brompton only has one incubator, meaning our doctors and nurses can only treat one baby with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) at a time.

When we lose these referrals, the baby is transferred to another hospital to undergo invasive surgery.

What is PDA?

  • The ductus arteriosus is a short blood vessel that connects the two main arteries of the heart
  • This vessel is present in all babies but for most, it closes soon after birth
  • PDA is when the duct fails to close by itself, needing intervention
  • It affects 50% of premature babies.

Why do we need an incubator?

Royal Brompton is the only place in the UK that can treat premature babies with a PDA using catheterisation (using a small, thin tube called a catheter).

If our incubator isn't available, babies are sent elsewhere for surgery. This is more invasive a requires longer to recover from. At the moment, the Paediatric Team must turn away 25-30% of referrals. With your support, we can prevent this.

Sarah's story

Sarah and her twin Rachel were born 13 weeks premature. Both had PDA and whilst Rachel’s PDA closed on its own, Sarah required medical intervention. Sarah was referred to Royal Brompton from Northwood Hospital and underwent a catheterisation to close the duct. Sarah’s mother said:

Having a catheterisation was far less traumatic than open heart surgery, you don’t want to see your tiny baby in bandages. 

Sarah was able to go home in a couple of days, which she wouldn’t have been able to do if she had had open heart surgery. We just want our baby home as soon as possible.